Fight Breaks Out At Women’s Basketball Championship

A women’s college basketball game was stopped for 20 minutes after a fight broke out among the players. The South Eastern Conference (SEC) basketball championship game between Louisiana State (LSU) and South Carolina descended into chaos just minutes from the end when LSU guard Flau’jae Johnson appeared to push South Carolina’s Ashlyn Watkins, which prompted South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso to shove Johnson to the ground.

Things become even more chaotic when a male jumped from the audience, over the scorer’s table, and joined the melee. Police soon escorted the man from the court in handcuffs, and four players, including Cardoso, were barred from the game and sent off court.

Following South Carolina’s 79-72 victory, Kamilla Cardoso took to Twitter to apologize for her conduct. She said it was not representative of who she is as a person, nor of South Carolina. The student said she took full responsibility for her behavior and would endeavor to conduct herself with greater sportsmanship in the future.

The incident joins a long line of similar brawls in recent months. For example, five players were ejected in February when a fight broke out between Arkansas State and Southern Mississippi. Domonique Davis and Emma Imevbore fought after both players tried for a rebound in the second quarter.

Similarly, two players were sent home in January when Michigan’s Chyra Evans lost the ball, prompting teammate Lauren Hansen and Maryland’s Bri McDaniel to jostle for possession. The girls were pulled apart after punches were thrown.

Officials ejected nine players from a game between Florida and Kentucky last March, again due to pushing while battling for possession. On that occasion, the fight started when Kentucky’s Ajae Petty threw the ball at Florida player Tatyana Wyche’s face. Wyche subsequently turned the tables and threw the ball at Petty’s head. Four women from each team were banned from the game after a resulting scuffle.

Also last March, police charged a Memphis player with assault following an on-court altercation in Tennessee.